Adjusting to life in my new country is going well. It helps that I have spent weeks at a time here over the last 18 years visiting my husband's family. Nevertheless, there are many new details that I must attend to. The first few things I had to do were to get a new mobile number, register for my visa, and buy car insurance for me to drive. Well, it is apparently easier to get a visa to live in this country than it is to find affordable car insurance to drive here! That said, here is a quick list of lessons I am learning while I adjust to living in Ireland.
1. Stay left while driving! Even as a passenger, it takes some time to adjust to sitting on the left side of the car.
2. Light switches are not always located INSIDE the room. Sometimes you have to turn on the light BEFORE you close the door to the bathroom.
3. I love running in the mountains. I never tire of the scenery and it forces me to stay completely present in order to listen for cars so I can get out of the way.
4. Bring your shopping bags. If you don’t, you either walk out holding your groceries or you end up buying bags to put them in.
5. The narrow country roads with blind turns and steep hills scare the bejesus out of me, whether driving, riding as a passenger or running.
6. I love running by the sea. The smell of salt water and the lapping of the waves soothes my soul.
7. Cars are much smaller and gas (petrol) more expensive.
8. Thank goodness I know how to drive a manual transmission, even if it’s shifting with my left hand. Thank you, Mom and Dad for making me learn as a teenager!
9. Car insurance for an American driver with little experience driving on the left side of the road is more expensive than the damn car.
10. STAY LEFT!!
11. Warm, sunny days in Ireland are few and far between. When they occur, Irish people lose their minds and can be found by the sea.
12. There are very few fast food restaurants or drive-thrus. (I have only seen two, and they are not in the same town!)
13. I love running FROM the mountains TO the sea!
14. There really are sheep for days in Ireland. And we hear them "Baaaaa" all the time!
15. When you order “a coffee” at any cafe, it’s actually an Americano.
16. I love running FROM the sea TO the mountains!
17. The upkeep of 2 acres of land in the Wicklow Mountains is no joke. Lots of cross-training can be built right into my day!
18. We’ve had family dinner outside on the deck every day this week without feeling like the sun is too close to the Earth.
19. I live in a place that people from all over the world pay to come visit!
20. For the love of God, STAY to the effing LEFT!!!!